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Plans for new skate park in Lexington could pave way for more recreation across the city

LEXINGTON, N.C. — The city of Lexington is on their way to getting a new skate park. It's part of a long-term plan to boost quality of life in the city.

It's not just going to be a skate park, but also a destination for BMX and more.

The new skate park is planned to be built at Radcliffe Park. There used to be a pool there that has been filled with more and more concrete over time. The once busy pool, is now empty.

“Well, now we can use this park that would really not be used for a whole lot else, and it can really be used as an attraction for the whole city,” Duran said.

Lexington Parks and Recreation Director Laura Duran said there is still a lot of the old park that can be repurposed though for this project.

They still plan on using the parking lot and the existing pool house can be used for restrooms.

Repurposing the pool will be a little more complicated. The pool is designed to hold water and the bowl for the skate park should not hold water. That is just one of the things engineers are working on.

The plans just got in for the skate park. The city hired Team Pain, a national skate board park company to design it. They are skaters themselves, which adds to the appeal for the park.

“It’s actual skaters who are designing the skate park, and then they’ll come out and build it,” Duran said.

This is phase three of four of a bigger plan for the city's recreation department.

Phase one was the Hillside Pool, which is now called the Lexington Aquatic Center.

Phase two is the new splash pad at Washington Park. Phase four will be a new recreation center near the planned skate park.

These concepts came out in 2014, and the opening of the pool in 2015 kicked off the recreation.

"It’s important to draw new businesses, new residents, and to keep the people we have and get them to stay in town,” Duran said.

Other businesses here are hoping this will get more customers rolling in.

Levi Scholler is really excited for the park. He owns a skate shop in downtown Lexington called So Stoked.

“We’ll have shoes as soon as this park gets here and we actually start making some money. It’s a huge investment so that’s probably going to take a little while,” he said.

He's a skater himself. Right now, he said he drives hours to get to a skate park similar to what this one is designed to be. He's seen these designs and is familiar with Team Pain.

“When you take into account that this is the Triad and there’s nothing like this around and it’s going to be the best one in the state, it’s definitely going to be pretty great for my business, and I’m pretty stoked about that,” Scholler said.

The Recreation and Parks Director said Team Pain will also add local aspects to the design of the park.

They are not sure what exactly they will incorporate, but it will make it stand out even more.

“Increasing the quality of life in our community is very important. You have to have good recreation in order to want people to stay and play in their community,” Duran said.

The next steps are signing on the contractors and finishing all of the paper work. Then they will put the project out to bid.

Duran said they hope to have all of that done by this fall. Then by next summer, the skate park should be open for business.